Q: Would you please comment on the statements made by the former Ukrainian president, Petro Poroshenko, who said in interview with the Ukrainian station Espreso TV that the main goal of the Minsk agreements was not to reach a settlement in the Donbas but rather to gain time so that Ukraine could replenish its arms supplies and strengthen its armed forces?
A: France, alongside Germany, spent nearly eight years working toward the implementation of the Minsk agreements. The goal of these agreements was to facilitate the reintegration of the areas under separatist control using a decentralized model within the framework of Ukrainian sovereignty. On February 21, the Russian president unilaterally recognized the independence of the self-proclaimed separatist republics, thereby going back on all of Russia’s commitments, and, in particular, the package of measures used to implement the Minsk agreements. Russia was a signatory to these agreements and their implementation was supported by UN Security Council resolution 2202. As was demonstrated by the French president’s Kyiv visit on June 16, France continues to do its utmost to put an end to the Russian aggression, which stands in violation of the most fundamental rules of international law, and to restore Ukraine’s territorial integrity.